A man charged with helping five men plot a terrorist attack on Fort Dix will not be freed on bail, a judge ruled Thursday.
Agron Abdullahu, 24, had asked U.S. Magistrate Joel Schneider to be released from custody into house arrest. But prosecutors successfully argued he was likely to flee and was a serious risk to the community's safety.
"I'm not really a bad guy," Abdullahu said. "If I could leave I would definitely go back to my old life. ... I would never do anything to harm this country."
Abdullahu, a legal U.S. resident, is charged with helping illegal immigrants obtain weapons, an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
"He was an integral part of the plan to attack Fort Dix," Schneider said as he explained his decision.
Abdullahu was arrested May 7, the same day authorities rounded up five other men -- Ibrahim Shnewer, 22; Serdar Tatar, 23; Dritan "Anthony" or "Tony" Duka, 28; Shain Duka, 26; and Eljvir "Elvis" Duka, 23. In a court filing, the government described them as "a radical Islamic and jihadist group." Each of the five is charged with conspiring to kill military personnel at Fort Dix, a crime punishable by life in prison.
Authorities said that while Abdullahu joined the others on trips to practice shooting weapons and told them about how to make bombs, he said he did not want to kill people.
Abdullahu lives in Buena Vista Township, between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. He is an ethnic Albanian who was born in the former Yugoslavia. At the age of 16, he went to Fort Dix with his family as refugees from Kosovo. After settling nearby, he became a baker at a supermarket, where he worked until his arrest.